Tips and Advice on asking the right questions to recruit the ‘perfect’ candidate

Being an interviewer is not an easy task – you need to ask the right questions, assess all the answers then judge the suitability of that candidate in a short amount of time.

Many employees who are in a position of management will, at some time or another, be required to interview a number of candidates to assess competence for job vacancies that arise. In order to be an effective interviewer, various skills must be employed. This will ensure that the candidate who is eventually hired is perfect for the job.

Preparation before the Interview

Good preparation is vital – Many job vacancies have hundreds of applicants, particularly in times of high unemployment that we’re seeing at the moment.

Job Role and Responsibilities – knowing exactly what the position entails in terms of required tasks and responsibilities is crucial in being able to form insightful and informative questions to be asked during the interview.

Key Questions – Questions that relate to the job role will reveal the knowledge of the candidate and will prove to be vital when making the final decision.

CV’s – A thorough review of every CV will enable the interviewer to tailor additional questions which are specific to the applicant to reveal more about their personality, experience or history.

During the Interview

Welcome the applicant warmly – Many candidates arriving for an interview will be nervous, a friendly welcome will assist them in relaxing.

Explain the Interview Process – This will prepare the applicant for what to expect during the interview and provide the opportunity for any initial questions.

Sell the Company to the Applicant – An applicant with experience and relevant qualifications will be in high demand. Therefore, the interview is as much about the company selling themselves to the applicant as it is the applicant proving their suitability to the company.

Ask open ended questions – Questions that have a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will reveal nothing about the applicant. Ask questions that will prompt the applicant to give more detail and elaborate on some points.

Ask specific questions – Questions that begin ‘Give me an example when you…’ or ‘How did you resolve your last conflict within a business?’ will provide vital information as to the applicant’s suitability for the role.

Try and uncover the real applicant – Many, if not all, applicants will endeavour to give a good impression, which may hide their true nature and character.

The interviewer truly has an unenviable task – to assess the suitability of a candidate within a relatively short time frame and with limited information. It is the role of a good interviewer to establish as much as they can about the applicant with the use of well-structured and insightful questions, whilst promoting the company itself to the potential employee.

Sue Franklin
Poole Together Ltd
Studio 308
2 Lansdowne Crescent

01202 283012
07796 981999

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